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A lesson of the excluded

· ​During his visit to Chiapas the Pope denounces the exploitation of the indigenous peoples of Mexico and calls families to overcome uncertainty and isolation ·

With their wisdom and their capacity to protect creation, the indigenous peoples of Mexico have “much to teach humanity”. In the heart of Chiapas, a cradle of civilizations and cultures which, through the centuries have often been oppressed, the Pope gave a voice to the peoples' desire for freedom; it is “a promised land where oppression, mistreatment and humiliation are not the currency of the day”. The Holy Father celebrated Mass on Monday morning, 15 February, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, with tens of thousands of faithful, mostly from local ethnic communities.

Denouncing exclusion and the systematic exploitation of resources, the Pontiff invited those responsible “examine their conscience” and to find the courage to ask for forgiveness. “Today’s world, ravaged as it is by a throwaway culture, needs you”, he repeated several times to the indigenous communities, whose capacity “to interact harmoniously with nature” is indispensable in order to confront what Francis defined as “one of the greatest environmental crises in world history”.

On the fourth day of the papal visit the Pope also met with families in a festive encounter in the stadium of Tuxtla Gutiérrez. Struck by their experiences, Francis warned of ideological colonizations which favour “isolation” and aim at destroying the foundation of every healthy society. We must, he said, walk away from the temptation for closure and from “fear of love” which often paralyzes family life. Wounds, scars and wrinkles, the Pope assured, “are the fruit of a faithful love which has had its share of difficulties. Love is not easy, it is not easy, but the most beautiful thing is when a man and a woman can offer each other true love and offer it for life”.

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Jan. 19, 2018

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